Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When Is A Cup Of Tea A Pharmaceutical?

Date:
May 22, 2007
Source:
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Summary:
When is an herbal tea a safe and effective sleep aid, and when is that same tea a risky pharmaceutical choice? Health care professionals face such questions daily, and a University of Arkansas researcher cautions that they may need to acquire advanced clinical skills in order to assure patient safety.

When is an herbal tea a safe and effective sleep aid, and when is that same tea a risky pharmaceutical choice? Health care professionals face such questions daily, and a University of Arkansas researcher cautions that they may need to acquire advanced clinical skills in order to assure patient safety.

In a peer-reviewed commentary in the current issue of the Journal of Allied Health Professions, Jerald C. Foote advises health professionals to “be prepared to ask for and evaluate pharmacological and toxicological information” when patients ask about using dietary supplements.

“The wise consumer will expect a health care adviser to address issues of effectiveness and side effects with dietary supplements. If someone says ‘there are no side effects,’ that should be a red flag,” Foote said.

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 created a new legal category of dietary supplements, and Federal Drug Administration education materials frequently advise consumers to consult with a health care provider before using such supplements. The law leaves it to the dietary supplement industry to conduct pre-market evaluations of products, and Foote’s commentary cites several examples of supplements that were withdrawn from the market only after consumers were harmed.

After years of making presentations to consumers and health care professionals and answering their many questions, Foote came to the conclusion that health professionals need to become more pharmaceutically oriented in order to advise clients responsibly.

“Today we recognize that herbs interact with drugs, something we didn’t talk about 10 or 15 years ago. For some products, there is no information on dosage or how the product is metabolized, which makes it difficult to evaluate,” Foote said.

He suggests that health professionals be proactive with their clients when it comes to using supplements that lack scientific evidence for safety or effectiveness. In fact, he says, such products are experimental pharmaceuticals, and an allied health professional has to consider whether to make a recommendation or to refer the client to someone with more expertise.

“Allied health professionals should either not recommend an experimental product, or if they do recommend it, they have a responsibility to monitor their patient for side effects,” Foote said.

In his commentary, Foote also calls for each allied health discipline “to determine the level of competency needed by its members to ensure consumer safety.”

Foote is a registered dietitian and an assistant professor of food and human nutrition in the School of Human Environmental Sciences in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "When Is A Cup Of Tea A Pharmaceutical?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070518155140.htm>.
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. (2007, May 22). When Is A Cup Of Tea A Pharmaceutical?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070518155140.htm
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "When Is A Cup Of Tea A Pharmaceutical?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070518155140.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins